This presentation underscores the significance of ongoing efforts in Colombia by research botanist Tatiana Arias from Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to safeguard orchid diversity, unravel the mysteries of orchid species-rich groups with high endemism in the northern Andes, and empower communities for conservation through sustainable practices. She uses a combination of fields and community engagement to be at the forefront of protecting Colombia’s precious orchid species. Her work aims to highlight the importance of collaboration between scientists and local communities in ensuring the preservation and appreciation of these botanical wonders. By delving into the evolution of these remarkable plants, Arias sheds light on the fascinating processes that have shaped Colombia’s diverse orchid species providing insights into their evolutionary history and ecological significance.
Arias is a classically trained botanist who has kept up with modern methods. She has more than 15 years of experience working in plant sciences and sees herself contributing to understanding the diversity and evolution of neotropical epiphytic orchids. Arias has a Ph. D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Hong Kong. She has also worked as the scientific leader of the Center of Biological Research (CIB) and la Sociedad Colombiana de Orquideología (SCO) in Medellin, Colombia. Arias has taught at several universities in Colombia for seven years. Her research at Selby Gardens mainly aims to integrate multiple disciplines such as systematics, genomics, collection-based research, and natural history. This integrative approach will allow Arias to test hypotheses about key biogeographical, morphological and functional traits that have given rise to this spectacular diversity. All the outcomes will be key to inform strategies that allow the preservation of orchids.
This event is virtual and will be streamed via Zoom.
Schedule: July 20, 6 p.m. ET